England’s Omicron hotspot is West Northamptonshire with up to 83 confirmed or suspected cases of the variant, health chiefs revealed today — as SAGE warned the super-mutant could trigger the country’s biggest ever wave.

The UK Health Security Agency said that eight of the ten areas with the biggest Omicron outbreaks are in London, listing Croydon (up to 10 cases), Hackney (14), Lambeth (16), Newham (22), Brent (14), Greenwich (16), Wandsworth (13) and Lewisham.

Buckinghamshire was in the country’s home counties and had seven confirmed cases as well as 15 probable infections.

However, it’s possible Omicron could be found in even more local authorities. Some 568 cases in the UK — and 448 in England — have been confirmed to date, but the UKHSA is no longer publishing where they were spotted.

These three regions are seeing the largest increases in Omicron infections in the country. Greenwich is up 63%, Daventry West Northamptonshire (46%), and Newham (55%).

A separate data set revealed that 90% of English local authorities are seeing the infection spreading in England.

The variant’s ability (or inability to avoid immunity) is a reason why SAGE documents released yesterday indicate that Britain could be hit with its largest ever infection wave in January.

Scientists believe Omicron cases in Britain have been increasing at a rate of 20 percent per day. Some areas are seeing spikes in Covid cases.  

The fact that it’s more transmissible to Delta seems now obvious. Although it appears more susceptible to breaking through immune system, studies suggest that it’s also more likely. Early data however suggests it to be less resistant than others.  

England’s citizens will soon be advised to use their vaccine passports at large events and work from home.

SAGE Scientists warn of stronger Covid restrictions to be implemented today. They claim that the government’s “Plan B” does not sufficiently stop Omicron. The scientists warned of the possibility that Omicron could be causing a quarter million cases each day and that 1,000 hospital admissions per day would result if Plan B was not in place.

There is growing pressure on the Government to tighten restrictions after the total number of British Omicron cases rose to 568 today, with the highly evolved variant now in every country in the UK and almost every region of England

Following the increase in British Omicron case numbers to 568 in today’s total, the Government is under increasing pressure to relax restrictions. This highly evolved variant can be found in all of the UK countries and in nearly every part of England.

In total, there are 46,000 Covid cases on average each day in the UK and data from the Covid Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) suggests the new strain is already behind around one in 66 of them, or 1.4 per cent

There are approximately 46,000 Covid cases per day in Britain. Data from Covid Genomics UK Consortium suggests that the new strain may be behind about one-third of those 66, which is 1.4 percent.

Yesterday’s publication by the UKHSA showed the ten most suspected and confirmed Omicron cases in England. 

Officials at the UKHSA have refused to disclose the complete list of Omicron-affected areas, although today’s numbers suggest that there may be many cases.

Data from separate sources showed that five of the ten regions with the highest Omicron infection rates in England have detected Omicron cases.

How do the Covid rules change in England?

Boris Johnson, the Government’s Covid Plan B Implementer, announced tonight. 

That means: 


Return to work from home guidance. The guidance will tell people to return to England to work starting Monday, if possible.

Mask for the faceYou can find it here 

From Friday, face masks are mandatory in all indoor public venues. This includes theatres and cinemas. These masks will be not required at bars, restaurants or gyms.

Vaccine passports 

Access to clubs and large gathering places will require the NHS Covid Pass. 

It will also apply to unseated indoor venues seating more than 500 persons, outdoor venues seating more than 4,000 people, and all venues hosting more than 10,000 guests. 

The booster program will allow for two doses of vaccine to be considered fully-vaccinated. However, this information will not be changed. 

Also, a negative lateral flow test is sufficient. 

Businesses will have time to prepare for this change. 

Get in touch 

Omicron case contacts will be asked to submit daily coronavirus test results, rather than self-isolating. If they are positive, they will be quarantined.    

They included Greenwich, which saw an increase of 63% in one week and Newham who experienced an increase in sales by 46% in one week.

Daventry in West Northamptonshire is up 46% in just one week.

But Portsmouth (up 44 per cent) and Southwark (up 43 per cent) were also among the areas with the fastest growing outbreaks, having detected at least one case of Omicron.

The outbreaks were also rife in Copeland and Barking and Dagenham as well as West Devon and the Forest of Dean, although no confirmed cases have been reported.

Comparatively, the number of cases in England rose 11% last week.

Britain inspects about 20% of Covid cases to ensure variants. This means that many Omicron cases may be going unnoticed.

Scientists from the UKHSA claim that current counts are likely to be around 20 times greater than those of confirmed cases.

Omicron cases are confirmed only by sequencing.

However, early detection can be given by PCRs.

To detect Covid they look for three mutations. But in Omicron, one of these mutations is so severe that it fails to show up.

After the introduction of the mutant version, covid cases rose rapidly in South Africa. Cases rose by more than 300 percent week on week for several days.

Edmunds, SAGE advisor, says the situation can be quickly translated to Britain because of their high immunity levels.

South Africa has around 24% of the population who are fully immunized, with most people already having immunity to previous infections from major waves.

Around 70% of UK citizens are double-jabbed. Millions of other people have immunity to previous infections.

He told a Royal Society of Medicine public lecture today: ‘South Africa’s situation…. That could be easily translated to the UK, I believe. Both of us have very high immunity levels. 

He added: ‘Could we potentially have something double quickly here? He said, “Yes. That is what we’re seeing now.”

However, the top epidemiologist stated that it wasn’t yet possible to determine if this mutant strain is milder than others.

MailOnline’s analysis has shown that fewer people are admitted to ICU at South Africa’s epicentre Gauteng than they were during the Delta wave. 

Experts suggested that it is possible for the strain to be milder, while adding that there are more immune people now than in the past.

Scientists at SAGE are currently promoting the idea that there may be more restrictions in place to control the variant.

Andrew Hayward was a member No10’s most prestigious scientific advisory group. He warned that the UK might need ‘even more restrictive measures’. The University College London epidemiologist said Plan B would’slow down the spread’ super-strain but that it is not likely to reverse the growing wave of patients and hospitalisations.

Today, Sajid Javid claimed that Plan B’s sudden switch was proportionate and would allow for the NHS to give out more boost jabs.

But, the Health Secretary raised the danger of more severe orders being issued in the next weeks. He also admitted that ministers will continue to evaluate the existing policies.

This means that Britons may be again be subject to last-minute Christmas curbs after being denied the opportunity to see their family members last year, when the Alpha version took flight.

SAGE modeller Dr Mike Tildesley hinted at a watered down Christmas this year, claiming that it was ‘very important’ to allow people to be together this year — but in a ‘safe way’.

 Mr Johnson has already hinted that Covid jabs could eventually be compulsory, telling last night’s Downing Street conference that a ‘national conversation’ on the matter is likely to be needed in the future. Johnson also suggested that vaccination passports could be expanded beyond large-scale events.

Independent scientists have already urged the government to be more proactive. Independent SAGE (a zero Covid) group of experts has told ministers to bring in more measures immediately to help avoid lockdown.

Professor Neil Ferguson of SAGE, one the top modelers, said yesterday that a lockdown may be necessary to safeguard Omicron’s NHS.